Henrik Tjärnström: Kindred is unafraid of challenging the status quo on sustainable practices

Stockholm-listed Kindred Group has lauded its ability to ‘challenge the status quo’ when it comes to responsible gambling efforts, emphasising that the group can adapt its business strategy facing the realities and demands of sustainable gambling.

Publishing its third annual ‘Sustainability Report’, Kindred has outlined five key priority areas which it will focus on in the coming years including ‘responsible gambling’, ‘maintaining integrity’, ‘running a compliant business’, ‘being Kindred’, and ‘contributing to communities’.

Driving its social responsibility agenda, Kindred has maintained a corporate goal of achieving 0% of gross winnings revenue being derived from ‘harmful gambling’ by 2023.

Kindred stated: “During 2019, we worked to set a baseline for how we can effectively measure and report our progress towards this ambition. We are proud to take the first important steps, and we hope other operators will join us on the journey towards a gambling industry that is 100% enjoyable.

“For this ambition to be realistic, we need sustainable regulations that ensure customers stay within the licensed markets, more collaboration across the industry and improved technology.”

Outlined in its ‘maintaining integrity’ area, the group has set a long-term goal to ‘always behave with integrity and fairness in everything we do to gain the trust of our customers, the regulators and society as a whole’.

Kindred Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström emphasised the need to maintain their commitment to sustainable gambling: “We have seen regulatory pressure in Europe increase throughout 2019, partly fuelled by the stigma around gambling as an industry.

“This is challenging the industry to adapt to a new market reality in terms of marketing, community involvement and actively addressing industry specific issues. Kindred has always been a front-runner in this area, and we intend to keep hold of the baton in the race for sustainable growth.

“As mentioned in last year’s sustainability report we have built our business on continually finding new ways forward, challenging the status quo, and we are determined to continue to transform ourselves and the industry for this new reality.”

In ‘Running a Compliant Business’, Kindred has revealed that it is striving to ‘ensure that our operations always continue to meet the highest professional, compliance and ethical standards’, with its ‘Being Kindred’ segment unveiling an aim to ‘become one of the world’s highest-ranked companies for employee engagement’.

Meanwhile ‘Contributing to Communities’ has highlighted an ambition of equipping regions in which it operates ‘with the knowledge and resources to build a better future’.

Tjärnström continued: “In 2019, we derived 59 per cent of our revenue from locally regulated markets and expect this ratio to increase, a clear indication that we want to contribute to our communities in every way possible.

“However, to ensure local regulation works in a digital world the share of customers choosing locally regulated operators, also called the level of channelisation, must be the ultimate objective in each market. If this is not achieved, the system will fail.

“Gambling is a form of entertainment in our society. It always has been and always will be. A customer who enjoys gambling and stays in control, and an industry which plays a fundamental part in developing communities through active engagement, is good for everyone. That is why a sustainable business is a good business and a valuable part of the communities in which it operates.”

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